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Vasily Smyslov vs Efim Geller
USSR Championship (1955), Moscow URS, rd 7, Apr-??
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch. Closed Variation Main Line (E89)  ·  0-1

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-04-02  ughaibu: Smyslov was another victim.
Dec-05-02  PVS: Geller played two matches with Smyslov and won them both. This game is the lone decisive game from the first, which was necessitated by the two having shared first place in the USSR championship that year. The second was a Candidates match in 1965, Geller won big +3=5. It seems Smyslov went wrong after 24…Nxe4.
Dec-05-02  ughaibu: I get the impression that Smyslov lost track in the opening. h3 and g3 look horrible.
Dec-05-02  PVS: 11. h3 makes no sense, and 12. g3 is not much better. He needed to do something on the c-file.
Dec-30-04  PivotalAnorak: If 35. ♔f2 ♗f6 !
Apr-17-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Geller's account of this deciding playoff game, which made him the Soviet Champion:

<Although this variation is not considered disadvantageous to White I knew very well that Smyslov had never previously played it in serious play, and the type of game arising from it hardly suited his style. And in fact, instead of castling long, he wasted valuable time in preparing to castle Kingside. Hence it was not difficult to gain control of valuable central squares.

White's King was in danger and Smyslov played for simplifications, exchanging queens and hoping for an ending. By a temporary knight sacrifice, I succeeded in destroying White's defensive set-up and my rooks and bishops penetrated into his king's position. The attack grew in strength and faced with the threat of heavy material loss, Smyslov resigned. Victory!...>

Apr-02-08  xrt999: Beautiful game! After 29...Be5 you can amlost feel Smyslov's blood pressure rising as he is slowly being constricted to death.

All of black's pieces are harmoniously leering into white's confused space; black has the active bishop pair and controls the open c-file. White makes one feeble attempt to extricate himself from black's clutches and is crushed with pinpoint precision and efficiency by Grandmaster Geller.

Apr-18-08  Jim Bartle: <And in fact, instead of castling long, he wasted valuable time in preparing to castle Kingside. Hence it was not difficult to gain control of valuable central squares.>

Curious, since I've always thought 5. f3 virtually commits white to castling long later. Not in all variations, but in most.

Mar-24-09  parisattack: <<Although this variation is not considered disadvantageous to White I knew very well that Smyslov had never previously played it in serious play, and the type of game arising from it hardly suited his style. And in fact, instead of castling long, he wasted valuable time in preparing to castle Kingside. Hence it was not difficult to gain control of valuable central squares.

White's King was in danger and Smyslov played for simplifications, exchanging queens and hoping for an ending. By a temporary knight sacrifice, I succeeded in destroying White's defensive set-up and my rooks and bishops penetrated into his king's position. The attack grew in strength and faced with the threat of heavy material loss, Smyslov resigned. Victory!...> >

'Until Geller we didn't understand the King's Indian' - Botvinnik.

Geller one of the great Power Players of all time - Pillsbury-Keres-Geller-Stein...

Oct-07-09  Everett: <parisattack:
<'Until Geller we didn't understand the King's Indian' - Botvinnik>>

Classic! I guess Botvinnik never did quite understand what was going on with his games against Bronstein.

Oct-07-09  ughaibu: In 1951? Game 21 was the only kings indian, I think, Bronstein won.
Oct-13-09  Everett: I don't know the date of the Botvinnik quote, but he and Bronstein played 3 KIDs. Moreover, Bronstein and Boleslavsky were playing it consistently, with good results and "understanding" before Geller. Bronstein's famous wins came three years before 1949. So, Botvinnik seems to either be ignorant or, probably, being intentionally disrespectful.

Game Collection: King's Indian pioneers

Oct-13-09  WhiteRook48: 36 Kg3 Rxe1 37 Kxg4 RE4+
Oct-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: According to Bronstein's wife, her dying husband named Geller, not himself, as the greatest player of the KID!
Oct-13-09  Everett: <stoy> Coming from Bronstein, I believe it!

It's interesting that Spassky completely avoided Geller's KID in '65 and '68.

I certainly take no credit away from Geller. The quote from Botvinnik is a clear exaggeration, however.

Dec-08-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <PVS>This game is the lone decisive game from the first, which was necessitated by the two having shared first place in the USSR championship that year.

<FVS>,
The first 6 games of the play-off match were drawn.

Dec-25-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Jim Bartle> From vast experience of the Saemisch, I can tell you that White usually goes in for long castling.
Oct-30-14  tranquilsimplicity: <Everett> I believe you may be right with regards to Botvinnik's attempt to disrespect Bronstein with attributing the advent and great understanding of the King's Indian Defence to Geller.

I happen to be a King's Indian Defence practitioner and have learned this opening from Bronstein and Geller, in that order. Bronstein's understanding and employment of the King's Indian is well known. Geller, Tal, Fischer etc all played it later; albeit with almost the same depth of understanding as Bronstein (if perhaps not more, I don't know). But it is my sincere belief that the famous statement by Botvinnik was an insult to Bronstein.#

Oct-30-14  tranquilsimplicity: But then again I have to be truly honest and add that I adopted Geller's set ups that continue with ..Nd7 as opposed to Bronstein's ..Nc6. I play this defence à la Geller.#
Nov-05-14  tranquilsimplicity: I have come across new information that has compelled me to revise my position stated in my penultimate post. Botvinnik once claimed that in his opinion, Geller was the strongest player in the world in the late 1960s. With that in mind, it is very possible that Botvinnik's assertion regarding the understanding of the King's Indian Defence pertaining to Geller's contribution may have been genuine. And therefore not an insult to Bronstein.#

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